Social Media, Cleaning Eating, and Orthorexia

Social Media Hazard

Food pics, flat lay photos, and clean eating posts … they’re all the rage.  I enjoy seeing and posting high-quality photographs of food on Instagram – the ones that could be published in a magazine grab my attention.

When it comes to the trendy flat lay images boasting about clean eating or the latest diet rage, things can get concerning. I understand the marketing aspect of sponsored posts, but when celebrities post about the diet that, in its classic form, is 90% fat, 4% carbs, and 6% protein or similar diets, I’m a little concerned.

Did you know that 65% of Instagram users are ages 18-34? (Interestingly, I’m in the 9% of Instagram users in a much higher age group.) That’s a highly impressionable age range.

Introducing Orthorexia

via Vogue Magazine

Orthorexia isn’t necessarily driven by body image issues.  It’s about being fixated on what they consider healthy foods (clean eating). It’s like obsessive-compulsive personality types with a borderline eating disorder.

Common behavior changes that may be signs of orthorexia may include:

  • Obsessive concern over the relationship between food choices and health concerns such as asthma, digestive problems, low mood, anxiety or allergies
  • Increasing avoidance of foods because of food allergies, without medical advice
  • Noticeable increase in consumption of supplements, herbal remedies or probiotics
  • Drastic reduction in opinions of acceptable food choices, such that the sufferer may eventually consume fewer than 10 foods
  • Irrational concern over food preparation techniques, especially washing of food or sterilization of utensils”

Have you seen any of these signs from people you know?

Featured Image by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

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